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18 February 1941

18 February 1941


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18 February 1941

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Diplomacy

The United States creates defence zones in the Pacific and Caribbean Seas which foreign ships and aircraft need a permit to enter



February 18, 1942: Japanese Ethnic Cleansing in Singapore, The Sook Ching Massacre

On February 18, 1942, the Japanese Imperial Army began a carefully planned massacre of ethnic Chinese men in the conquered territories of Singapore and Malaya, an effort to eliminate what the Japanese perceived to be “hostile elements.” As many as 100,000 Chinese men were executed in a purge called Sook Ching by the Chinese. Soldiers carrying out the deadly deeds were supervised by the Kempeitai, the Japanese secret police.

Digging Deeper

The Japanese saw the Chinese as their main enemy in Asia and called the purge of ethnic Chinese “Kakyō Shukusei” or “purging of Overseas Chinese” in English. An alternate name for the massacre sometimes used by word mincing Japanese is “Shingapōru Daikenshō,” with a much less threatening sounding English equivalent of “Great inspection of Singapore.” (This sort of word games is reminiscent of the Japanese calling their conquered slave territories during World War II “The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”)

Members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere territory controlled at maximum height. Japan and its allies in dark red occupied territories/client states in lighter red. Korea and Taiwan were integral parts of Japan. Map by Kendrikdirksen.

The Japanese had reportedly planned the purge of about 20% of the Chinese men in Singapore even before Singapore had been invaded by the Japanese. The Japanese perceived most Chinese as “anti-Japanese!” (Well, DUH!) The idea was to eliminate any Chinese person that could present an obstacle to the pacification of conquered territory. Japanese Professor Hirofumi Hayashi makes it clear that the Japanese plan was not merely a spur of the moment act by over-zealous military monsters, but a government sanctioned planned policy being carried out by willing underlings: The Singapore Massacre was not the conduct of a few evil people, but was consistent with approaches honed and applied in the course of a long period of Japanese aggression against China and subsequently applied to other Asian countries. The Japanese military, in particular the 25th Army, made use of the purge to remove prospective anti-Japanese elements and to threaten local Chinese and others to swiftly impose military administration.”

Chinese identified in the following ways were targeted by the Japanese death squads, those being born in China and having moved to Singapore, suspected communists, wealthy Chinese that had donated to Chinese causes, men with tattoos (believed to be gangsters), civil servants, those that served with the Singapore defense forces, members of any party or movement perceived as anti-Japanese and those that owned weapons. Other “suspicious” Chinese included journalists, teachers, any sort of intellectual and those that had served the British. The Japanese had 200 secret police supervising about 1000 soldiers in gathering up the ethnic Chinese men and taking them to a prison camp for screening. Mostly Chinese men between 18 years old and 50 years old were “screened,” but there were exceptions, with some older and younger victims chosen. Some victims deemed anti-Japanese were identified as such merely on the whim of the ranking Japanese officer at each camp. Most of those Chinese males identified in any of the suspicious groups were executed, though a minority were merely imprisoned.

Colonel Masanobu Tsuji, the primary mastermind for the Sook Ching operation in Singapore and Malaya in 1942.

Funny how totalitarian states love their bureaucracy, in this case evidence by the practice of marking each Chinese to be released with an ink stamp of a square and those chosen for execution stamped with a triangle. The unfortunate triangle marked Chinese were rounded up and shipped to execution camps, one of at least 11 sites where the victims were mostly executed by being shot. When Singapore was liberated, mass graves were found at each of these killing sites.

In Malaya, the Japanese lacked sufficient manpower and resources to conduct the sort of systematic screening as performed in Singapore, so the manner of “purging” dangerous ethnic Chinese was to kill as many Chinese males as could be found, resulting in tens of thousands of Chinese being murdered by marauding Japanese troops.

Map of the Malayan Campaign

After the War it was payback time, and the Allies conducted war crimes trials for the Japanese officers involved. While the main perpetrator had escaped to China, 7 of his underlings were tried, with 2 given the death sentence and the other 5 given life in prison. One of those 5 was later executed for a separate war crime conviction. The commanding officer that had escaped, Masanobu Tsuji, is believed to have died in Laos in 1961. The general that gave the orders for the massacre to take place, Tomoyuki Yamashita, was convicted of other war crimes in the Philippines and was executed in 1946. Other officers that had been in on the planning of the operation were later captured by the Soviets but not tried.

In the typical unrepentant Japanese fashion, the Japanese government later admitted the massacre took place, but rejected demands by Singapore that reparations be paid to surviving family members of victims, and further claimed only about 5000 people were murdered in the operation. When Singapore became an independent country, its first Prime Minister gave his official estimate of 70,000 victims killed, while scholars vary between 50,000 and 100,000 Chinese killed. Japan finally did agree to make reparations payment in 1966, a pathetic $50 million and to make matters worse, refused to issue an apology for the heinous act. A memorial gallery containing images as remembered by witnesses and survivors is located at the old Ford Motor Factory at Bukit Timah in Singapore, the location where the British surrendered to the invading Japanese in 1942.

The Sook Ching Centre site memorial stands at Hong Lim Complex in Chinatown. Photograph by Terence Ong.

Question for students (and subscribers): In light of this and other Japanese atrocities during World War II, do you think the use of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified? What other horrific Japanese atrocities against Chinese do you know of? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

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The featured image in this article, a photograph by Terence Ong of Sook Ching Centre site, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Bahá'í History

May 18. On this date in 1941, Yvonne Liegois Cuellar, a French woman married to Arturo Cuellar Echazu, a Bolivian army officer, became a Bahá’í in Bolivia. Although Marina Núñez del Prado was the first Bolivian to become a Bahá’í, on February 2, 1941, she did not remain active, so Yvonne Cuellar is recognized as the first Bahá’í in Bolivia. Shoghi Effendi called her the "Mother of Bolivia". Arturo Cuellar would later become a Bahá’í in 1946 through his wife's efforts.

Born in France on March 11, 1896, Yvonne Cuellar and her husband, Arturo Cuellar, lived in La Paz, Bolivia, in the 1940s where they had an American boarder, Eleanor Adler, who was first Bahá’í pioneer to Bolivia. Both she and her husband became Bahá’ís and helped establish the first Baha'i community of La Paz.

Yvonne Liegois Cuellar became a Bahá’í on May 18, 1941. Although Marina Núñez del Prado, a celebrated sculptor, was the first Bolivian to become a Bahá’í, on February 2, 1941, she did not remain active, so Yvonne Cuellar is recognized as the first Bahá’í in Bolivia. Shoghi Effendi called her the "Mother of Bolivia". Arturo Cuellar would later become a Bahá’í in 1946 through his wife's efforts.

In 1953, the Cuellars moved to the United States but returned to Bolivia in 1956 at the request of the National Spiritual Assembly of that country. In 1958 she traveled to France to help establish the inaugural National Spiritual Assembly, which was dissolved two years later through reports of Hand of the Cause Abu'l-Qásim Faizi by the authority of the Custodians due to a majority of the Assembly's acceptance of Charles Mason Remey's claim to being the second Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith subsequent to the death of Shoghi Effendi.

In 1968 the Cuellars once again moved to the United States. Yvonne Cullear died in Littleton, Colorado on December 7, 1983.


The Surprising Origin Story of Wonder Woman

“Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling ‘Wonder Woman,’” read the astonishing headline. In the summer of 1942, a press release from the New York offices of All-American Comics turned up at newspapers, magazines and radio stations all over the United States. The identity of Wonder Woman’s creator had been “at first kept secret,” it said, but the time had come to make a shocking announcement: “the author of ‘Wonder Woman’ is Dr. William Moulton Marston, internationally famous psychologist.” The truth about Wonder Woman had come out at last.

Or so, at least, it was made to appear. But, really, the name of Wonder Woman’s creator was the least of her secrets.

Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.

In one episode, a newspaper editor named Brown, desperate to discover Wonder Woman’s past, assigns a team of reporters to chase her down she easily escapes them. Brown, gone half mad, is committed to a hospital. Wonder Woman disguises herself as a nurse and brings him a scroll. “This parchment seems to be the history of that girl you call ‘Wonder Woman’!” she tells him. “A strange, veiled woman left it with me.” Brown leaps out of bed and races back to the city desk, where he cries out, parchment in hand, “Stop the presses! I’ve got the history of Wonder Woman!” But Wonder Woman’s secret history isn’t written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston’s family.

The veil that has shrouded Wonder Woman’s past for seven decades hides beneath it a crucial story about comic books and superheroes and censorship and feminism. As Marston once put it, “Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world.”

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origins of one of the world's most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story-and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism Wonder Woman

Comic books were more or less invented in 1933 by Maxwell Charles Gaines, a former elementary school principal who went on to found All-American Comics. Superman first bounded over tall buildings in 1938. Batman began lurking in the shadows in 1939. Kids read them by the piles. But at a time when war was ravaging Europe, comic books celebrated violence, even sexual violence. In 1940, the Chicago Daily News called comics a “national disgrace.” “Ten million copies of these sex-horror serials are sold every month,” wrote the newspaper’s literary editor, calling for parents and teachers to ban the comics, “unless we want a coming generation even more ferocious than the present one.”

To defend himself against critics, Gaines, in 1940, hired Marston as a consultant. “‘Doc’ Marston has long been an advocate of the right type of comic magazines,” he explained. Marston held three degrees from Harvard, including a PhD in psychology. He led what he called “an experimental life.” He’d been a lawyer, a scientist and a professor. He is generally credited with inventing the lie detector test: He was obsessed with uncovering other people’s secrets. He’d been a consulting psychologist for Universal Pictures. He’d written screenplays, a novel and dozens of magazine articles. Gaines had read about Marston in an article in Family Circle magazine. In the summer of 1940, Olive Richard, a staff writer for the magazine, visited Marston at his house in Rye, New York, to ask him for his expert opinion about comics.

“Some of them are full of torture, kidnapping, sadism, and other cruel business,” she said.

“Unfortunately, that is true,” Marston admitted, but “when a lovely heroine is bound to the stake, comics followers are sure that the rescue will arrive in the nick of time. The reader’s wish is to save the girl, not to see her suffer.”

Marston tried to showcase Wonder Woman’s athleticism whenever possible. In this 1942 comic she plays baseball in other episodes she plays ice hockey and tennis and even founds a chain of fitness clubs. (Smithsonian Libraries) Marston, who was generally considered the inventor of the polygraph test, administers it to the secretary of his law firm in 1921. (Smithsonian Libraries) In “Victory at Sea,” from March 1943, Steve Trevor proposes administering a lie detector test to Diana Prince, who was secretly Wonder Woman. (Smithsonian Libraries) Marston (far right) questions a female subject taking a lie detector test, while Olive Byrne (far left) records the answers. (Smithsonian Libraries) Marston insisted that Wonder Woman be chained or tied in nearly every story. (Smithsonian Libraries) The bondage of Wonder Woman echoed the iconography used by early suffragists (cartoon by Lou Rogers, far right) and feminists like Margaret Sanger (right, protesting censorship). (Corbis/The University of Michigan) Dorothy Roubicek proposed gentler methods of restraining Wonder Woman “without the use of chains.” (Smithsonian Libraries) Wonder Woman goes to court. (Smithsonian Libraries) Though Wonder Woman drifted from her feminist beginnings, she re-emerged as a symbol of female empowerment – even on lunch box sets like the above (from 1977). (NMAH) In 1972, the founders of Ms. put her on the cover of the magazine's first regular issue. (Ms. magazine) Cartoonist David Levine drew Margaret Sanger as Wonder Woman in 1978. (David Levine) The July 1973 cover of Sister, published by the Los Angeles Women’s Center, showed Wonder Woman wielding a speculum. (Birth Control Review, Harvard College Library) In this episode, Wonder Woman takes another character, Bif, back in time to prove that history—especially women’s history—isn’t boring. (Smithsonian Libraries) Marston insisted that comic books were an elevated form of literature, fantasies that “touch the tender spots of universal human desires and aspirations.” (Smithsonian Libraries) (Smithsonian Libraries)

Marston was a man of a thousand lives and a thousand lies. “Olive Richard” was the pen name of Olive Byrne, and she hadn’t gone to visit Marston—she lived with him. She was also the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most important feminists of the 20th century. In 1916, Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, Olive Byrne’s mother, had opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States. They were both arrested for the illegal distribution of contraception. In jail in 1917, Ethel Byrne went on a hunger strike and nearly died.

Olive Byrne met Marston in 1925, when she was a senior at Tufts he was her psychology professor. Marston was already married, to a lawyer named Elizabeth Holloway. When Marston and Byrne fell in love, he gave Holloway a choice: either Byrne could live with them, or he would leave her. Byrne moved in. Between 1928 and 1933, each woman bore two children they lived together as a family. Holloway went to work Byrne stayed home and raised the children. They told census-takers and anyone else who asked that Byrne was Marston’s widowed sister-in-law. “Tolerant people are the happiest,” Marston wrote in a magazine essay in 1939, so “why not get rid of costly prejudices that hold you back?” He listed the “Six Most Common Types of Prejudice.” Eliminating prejudice number six—“Prejudice against unconventional people and non-conformists”—meant the most to him. Byrne’s sons didn’t find out that Marston was their father until 1963—when Holloway finally admitted it—and only after she extracted a promise that no one would raise the subject ever again.

Gaines didn’t know any of this when he met Marston in 1940 or else he would never have hired him: He was looking to avoid controversy, not to court it. Marston and Wonder Woman were pivotal to the creation of what became DC Comics. (DC was short for Detective Comics, the comic book in which Batman debuted.) In 1940, Gaines decided to counter his critics by forming an editorial advisory board and appointing Marston to serve on it, and DC decided to stamp comic books in which Superman and Batman appeared with a logo, an assurance of quality, reading, “A DC Publication.” And, since “the comics’ worst offense was their blood-curdling masculinity,” Marston said, the best way to fend off critics would be to create a female superhero.

“Well, Doc,” Gaines said, “I picked Superman after every syndicate in America turned it down. I’ll take a chance on your Wonder Woman! But you’ll have to write the strip yourself.”

In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the “under-meaning” of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. “The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.” His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.”

Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics at the end of 1941 and on the cover of a new comic book, Sensation Comics, at the beginning of 1942, drawn by an artist named Harry G. Peter. She wore a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots. She was a little slinky she was very kinky. She’d left Paradise to fight fascism with feminism, in “America, the last citadel of democracy, and of equal rights for women!”

It seemed to Gaines like so much good, clean, superpatriotic fun. But in March 1942, the National Organization for Decent Literature put Sensation Comics on its blacklist of “Publications Disapproved for Youth” for one reason: “Wonder Woman is not sufficiently dressed.”

Gaines decided he needed another expert. He turned to Lauretta Bender, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University’s medical school and a senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, where she was director of the children’s ward, an expert on aggression. She’d long been interested in comics but her interest had grown in 1940, after her husband, Paul Schilder, was killed by a car while walking home from visiting Bender and their 8-day-old daughter in the hospital. Bender, left with three children under the age of 3, soon became painfully interested in studying how children cope with trauma. In 1940, she conducted a study with Reginald Lourie, a medical resident under her supervision, investigating the effect of comics on four children brought to Bellevue Hospital for behavioral problems. Tessie, 12, had witnessed her father, a convicted murderer, kill himself. She insisted on calling herself Shiera, after a comic-book girl who is always rescued at the last minute by the Flash. Kenneth, 11, had been raped. He was frantic unless medicated or “wearing a Superman cape.” He felt safe in it—he could fly away if he wanted to—and “he felt that the cape protected him from an assault.” Bender and Lourie concluded the comic books were “the folklore of this age,” and worked, culturally, the same way fables and fairy tales did.

That hardly ended the controversy. In February 1943, Josette Frank, an expert on children’s literature, a leader of the Child Study Association and a member of Gaines’ advisory board, sent Gaines a letter, telling him that while she’d never been a fan of Wonder Woman, she felt she now had to speak out about its “sadistic bits showing women chained, tortured, etc.” She had a point. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. “Great girdle of Aphrodite!” she cries at one point. “Am I tired of being tied up!”

The story behind the writing and editing of Wonder Woman can be pieced together from Bender’s papers, at Brooklyn College Frank’s papers, at the University of Minnesota and Marston’s editorial correspondence, along with a set of original scripts, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision. For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:

“Closeup, full length figure of WW. Do some careful chaining here—Mars’s men are experts! Put a metal collar on WW with a chain running off from the panel, as though she were chained in the line of prisoners. Have her hands clasped together at her breast with double bands on her wrists, her Amazon bracelets and another set. Between these runs a short chain, about the length of a handcuff chain—this is what compels her to clasp her hands together. Then put another, heavier, larger chain between her wrist bands which hangs in a long loop to just above her knees. At her ankles show a pair of arms and hands, coming from out of the panel, clasping about her ankles. This whole panel will lose its point and spoil the story unless these chains are drawn exactly as described here.”

Later in the story, Wonder Woman is locked in a cell. Straining to overhear a conversation in the next room, through the amplification of “bone conduction,” she takes her chain in her teeth: “Closeup of WW’s head shoulders. She holds her neck chain between her teeth. The chain runs taut between her teeth and the wall, where it is locked to a steel ring bolt.”

Gaines forwarded Frank’s letter of complaint to Marston. Marston shrugged it off. But then Dorothy Roubicek, who helped edit Wonder Woman—the first woman editor at DC Comics—objected to Wonder Woman’s torture, too.

“Of course I wouldn’t expect Miss Roubicek to understand all this,” Marston wrote Gaines. “After all I have devoted my entire life to working out psychological principles. Miss R. has been in comics only 6 months or so, hasn’t she? And never in psychology.” But “the secret of woman’s allure,” he told Gaines, is that “women enjoy submission—being bound.”

Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. She told Gaines she thought Wonder Woman ought to be more like Superman and, just as Superman couldn’t go back to the planet Krypton, Wonder Woman ought not to be able to go back to Paradise Island, where the kinkiest stuff tended to happen. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. In a memo to Gaines, Roubicek reported that Bender “does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism.” She also liked the way Marston was playing with feminism, Roubicek reported: “She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole ‘experiment’ as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other.” Roubicek summed up: “Dr. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.”

Gaines was hugely relieved, at least until September 1943, when a letter arrived from John D. Jacobs, a U.S. Army staff sergeant in the 291st Infantry, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. “I am one of those odd, perhaps unfortunate men who derive an extreme erotic pleasure from the mere thought of a beautiful girl, chained or bound, or masked, or wearing extreme high-heels or high-laced boots,—in fact, any sort of constriction or strain whatsoever,” Jacobs wrote. He wanted to know whether the author of Wonder Woman himself had in his possession any of the items depicted in the stories, “the leather mask, or the wide iron collar from Tibet, or the Greek ankle manacle? Or do you just ‘dream up’ these things?”

(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)

Gaines forwarded Jacobs’ letter to Marston, with a note: “This is one of the things I’ve been afraid of.” Something had to be done. He therefore enclosed, for Marston’s use, a memo written by Roubicek containing a “list of methods which can be used to keep women confined or enclosed without the use of chains. Each one of these can be varied in many ways—enabling us, as I told you in our conference last week, to cut down the use of chains by at least 50 to 75% without at all interfering with the excitement of the story or the sales of the books.”

Marston wrote Gaines right back.

“I have the good Sergeant’s letter in which he expresses his enthusiasm over chains for women—so what?” As a practicing clinical psychologist, he said, he was unimpressed. “Some day I’ll make you a list of all the items about women that different people have been known to get passionate over—women’s hair, boots, belts, silk worn by women, gloves, stockings, garters, panties, bare backs,” he promised. “You can’t have a real woman character in any form of fiction without touching off a great many readers’ erotic fancies. Which is swell, I say.”

Marston was sure he knew what line not to cross. Harmless erotic fantasies are terrific, he said. “It’s the lousy ones you have to look out for—the harmful, destructive, morbid erotic fixations—real sadism, killing, blood-letting, torturing where the pleasure is in the victim’s actual pain, etc. Those are 100 per cent bad and I won’t have any part of them.” He added, in closing, “Please thank Miss Roubicek for the list of menaces.”

In 1944, Gaines and Marston signed an agreement for Wonder Woman to become a newspaper strip, syndicated by King Features. Busy with the newspaper strip, Marston hired an 18-year-old student, Joye Hummel, to help him write comic-book scripts. Joye Hummel, now Joye Kelly, turned 90 this April in June, she donated her collection of never-before-seen scripts and comic books to the Smithsonian Libraries. Hiring her helped with Marston’s editorial problem, too. Her stories were more innocent than his. She’d type them and bring them to Sheldon Mayer, Marston’s editor at DC, she told me, and “He always OK’d mine faster because I didn’t make mine as sexy.” To celebrate syndication, Gaines had his artists draw a panel in which Superman and Batman, rising out of the front page of a daily newspaper, call out to Wonder Woman, who’s leaping onto the page, “Welcome, Wonder Woman!”

Gaines had another kind of welcome to make, too. He asked Lauretta Bender to take Frank’s place on the editorial advisory board.

In an ad King Features ran to persuade newspapers to purchase the strip, pointing out that Wonder Woman already had “ten million loyal fans,” her name is written in rope.

Hidden behind this controversy is one reason for all those chains and ropes, which has to do with the history of the fight for women’s rights. Because Marston kept his true relationship with Olive Byrne a secret, he kept his family’s ties to Margaret Sanger a secret, too. Marston, Byrne and Holloway, and even Harry G. Peter, the artist who drew Wonder Woman, had all been powerfully influenced by the suffrage, feminism and birth control movements. And each of those movements had used chains as a centerpiece of its iconography.

In 1911, when Marston was a freshman at Harvard, the British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, who’d chained herself to the gates outside 10 Downing Street, came to speak on campus. When Sanger faced charges of obscenity for explaining birth control in a magazine she founded called the Woman Rebel, a petition sent to President Woodrow Wilson on her behalf read, “While men stand proudly and face the sun, boasting that they have quenched the wickedness of slavery, what chains of slavery are, have been or ever could be so intimate a horror as the shackles on every limb—on every thought—on the very soul of an unwilling pregnant woman?” American suffragists threatened to chain themselves to the gates outside the White House. In 1916, in Chicago, women representing the states where women had still not gained the right to vote marched in chains.

In the 1910s, Peter was a staff artist at the magazine Judge, where he contributed to its suffrage page called “The Modern Woman,” which ran from 1912 to 1917. More regularly, the art on that page was drawn by another staff artist, a woman named Lou Rogers. Rogers’ suffrage and feminist cartoons very often featured an allegorical woman chained or roped, breaking her bonds. Sanger hired Rogers as art director for the Birth Control Review, a magazine she started in 1917. In 1920, in a book called Woman and the New Race, Sanger argued that woman “had chained herself to her place in society and the family through the maternal functions of her nature, and only chains thus strong could have bound her to her lot as a brood animal.” In 1923, an illustration commissioned by Rogers for the cover of Birth Control Review pictured a weakened and desperate woman, fallen to her knees and chained at the ankle to a ball that reads, “UNWANTED BABIES.” A chained woman inspired the title of Sanger’s 1928 book, Motherhood in Bondage, a compilation of some of the thousands of letters she had received from women begging her for information about birth control she described the letters as “the confessions of enslaved mothers.”
When Marston created Wonder Woman, in 1941, he drew on Sanger’s legacy and inspiration. But he was also determined to keep the influence of Sanger on Wonder Woman a secret.

He took that secret to his grave when he died in 1947. Most superheroes didn’t survive peacetime and those that did were changed forever in 1954, when a psychiatrist named Fredric Wertham published a book called Seduction of the Innocent and testified before a Senate subcommittee investigating the comics. Wertham believed that comics were corrupting American kids, and turning them into juvenile delinquents. He especially disliked Wonder Woman. Bender had written that Wonder Woman comics display “a strikingly advanced concept of femininity and masculinity” and that “women in these stories are placed on an equal footing with men and indulge in the same type of activities.” Wertham found the feminism in Wonder Woman repulsive.

“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.

Wertham’s papers, housed at the Library of Congress, were only opened to researchers in 2010. They suggest that Wertham’s antipathy toward Bender had less to do with the content of the comics than with professional rivalry. (Paul Schilder, Bender’s late husband, had been Wertham’s boss for many years.) Wertham’s papers contain a scrap on which he compiled a list he titled “Paid Experts of the Comic Book Industry Posing as Independent Scholars.” First on the list as the comic book industry’s number one lackey was Bender, about whom Wertham wrote: “Boasted privately of bringing up her 3 children on money from crime comic books.”

In the wake of the 1954 hearings, DC Comics removed Bender from its editorial advisory board, and the Comics Magazine Association of America adopted a new code. Under its terms, comic books could contain nothing cruel: “All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.” There could be nothing kinky: “Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.” And there could be nothing unconventional: “The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.”

“Anniversary, which we forgot entirely,” Olive Byrne wrote in her secret diary in 1936. (The diary remains in family hands.) During the years when she lived with Marston and Holloway, she wore, instead of a wedding ring, a pair of bracelets. Wonder Woman wears those same cuffs. Byrne died in 1990, at the age of 86. She and Holloway had been living together in an apartment in Tampa. While Byrne was in the hospital, dying, Holloway fell and broke her hip she was admitted to the same hospital. They were in separate rooms. They’d lived together for 64 years. When Holloway, in her hospital bed, was told that Byrne had died, she sang a poem by Tennyson: “Sunset and the evening star, / And one clear call for me! / And may there be no moaning of the bar, / When I put out to sea.” No newspaper ran an obituary.

Elizabeth Holloway Marston died in 1993. An obituary ran in the New York Times. It was headed, “Elizabeth H. Marston, Inspiration for Wonder Woman, 100.” This was, at best, a half-truth.

About Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. Lepore is the author of Book of Ages, New York Burning and The Secret History of Wonder Woman.


How Oregon’s Second Largest City Vanished in a Day

The mere utterance of Vanport was known to send shivers down the spines of "well-bred" Portlanders. Not because of any ghost story, or any calamitous disaster—that would come later—but because of raw, unabashed racism. Built in 110 days in 1942, Vanport was always meant to be a temporary housing project, a superficial solution to Portland’s wartime housing shortage. At its height, Vanport housed 40,000 residents, making it the second largest city in Oregon, a home to the workers in Portland's shipyards and their families.

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But as America returned to peacetime and the shipyards shuttered, tens of thousands remained in the slipshod houses and apartments in Vanport, and by design, through discriminatory housing policy, many who stayed were African-American. In a city that before the war claimed fewer than 2,000 black residents, white Portland eyed Vanport suspiciously. In a few short years, Vanport went from being thought of as a wartime example of American innovation to a crime-laden slum. 

A� Oregon Journal investigation discussed the purported eyesore that Vanport had become, noting that except for the 20,000-some residents who still lived there, "To many Oregonians, Vanport has been undesirable because it is supposed to have a large colored population," the article read. "Of the some 23,000 inhabitants, only slightly over 4,000 are colored residents. True, this is a high percentage per capita compared to other Northwestern cities. But, as one resident put it, the colored people have to live somewhere, and whether the Northwesterners like it or not, they are here to stay."

Faced with an increasingly dilapidated town, the Housing Authority of Portland wanted to dismantle Vanport altogether. "The consensus of opinion seems to be, however, that as long as over 20,000 people can find no other place to go, Vanport will continue to operate whether Portland likes it or not," the 1947 Sunday Journal article explained. "It is almost a physical impossibility to throw 20,000 people out on the street."

Almost—but not, the city would soon learn, completely impossible.

Delta Park, tucked along the Columbia River in Portland’s northern edge, is today a sprawling mix of public parks, nature preserves and sports complexes. Spread across 85 acres, it houses nine soccer fields, seven softball fields, a football field, an arboretum, a golf course and Portland's International Raceway. It's spaces like this—open, green and vibrant—that make Portland an attractive place to call home recently, it was named one of the world's most livable cities by the British magazine Monocle—the only U.S. city to make the list. In the park's northwest corner sits Force Lake—once a haven for over 100 species of birds and a vibrant community swimming hole, now a polluted mess. Around the lake stand various signposts—the only physical reminder of Vanport City. But the intangible remnants of Vanport live on, a reminder of Portland's lack of diversity both past and present.

Map of Vanport. Oregon Historical Society, Neg. OrHi 94480. (Oregon Historical Society)

Portland's whiteness is often treated more as joke than a blemish on its reputation, but its lack of diversity (in a city of some 600,000 residents, just 6 percent are black*) stems from its racist history, of which Vanport is an integral chapter. When Oregon was admitted to the United States in 1859, it was the only state whose state constitution explicitly forbade black people from living, working or owning property within its borders. Until 1926, it was illegal for black people to even move into the state. Its lack of diversity fed a vicious cycle: whites looking to escape the South after the end of the Civil War flocked to Oregon, which billed itself as a sort of pristine utopia, where land was plentiful and diversity was scarce. In the early 1900s, Oregon was a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity, boasting over 14,000 members (9,000 of whom lived in Portland). The Klan's influence could be felt everywhere, from business to politics—the Klan was even successful in ousting a sitting governor in favor of a governor more of its choosing. It was commonplace for high-ranking members of local and statewide politics to meet with Klan members, who would advise them in matters of public policy.

In this whitewashed world, Portland—Oregon's largest city then and now—was known as one of the most segregated cities north of the Mason-Dixon line: the law barring blacks from voting in the state wasn't revoked until 1927. Most of Portland's black residents before World War II had come to the city to work as railroad porters—one of the few jobs they were legally allowed to hold in the state—and took up residence in the area of Albina, within walking distance to Portland's Union Station. As the Albina district became a center for black residents, it also became one of the only places in the city where they were allowed to live. Extreme housing discrimination, known as redlining, prohibited minorities from purchasing property in certain areas: in 1919, the Realty Board of Portland approved a Code of Ethics that forbade realtors and bankers from selling or giving loans for property located in white neighborhoods to minorities. By 1940, 1,100 of Portland's 1,900 black residents lived in the Albina district centered around North Williams Avenue in an area just two miles long and one mile wide.

Like it did to so much of the country, World War II changed the landscape of Portland completely. In 1940, just before the United States entered into the war, industrialist Henry Kaiser struck a deal with the British Navy to build ships to bolster Britain's war effort. Searching for a place to build his shipyard, Kaiser set his sights on Portland, where the newly opened Bonneville Dam offered factories an abundance of cheap electricity. Kaiser opened the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation in 1941, and it quickly became known as one of the most efficient shipbuilding operations in the country, capable of producing ships㻋 percent faster than other shipyards, while using generally unskilled, but still unionized, laborers. When America entered the war in December of 1941, white male workers were drafted, plucked from the shipyard and sent overseas—and the burden of fulfilling the increased demand for ships with America's entrance into the war fell to the shoulders of those who had otherwise been seen as unqualified for the job: women and minorities.

Black men and women began arriving to Portland by the thousands, increasing Portland's black population tenfold in a matter of years. Between 1940 and 1950, the city's black population increased more than any West Coast city other than Oakland and San Francisco. It was part of a demographic change seen in cities across America, as blacks left the South for the North and West in what became known as the Great Migration, or what Isabel Wilkerson, in her acclaimed history of the period, The Warmth of Other Suns, calls "the biggest underreported story of the 20th century." From 1915 to 1960, nearly six million blacks left their Southern homes, seeking work and better opportunities in Northern cities, with nearlyف.5 million leaving in the 1940s, seduced by the call of WWII industries and jobs. Many seeking employment headed West, lured by the massive shipyards of the Pacific coast.

With Portland's black population undergoing a rapid expansion, city officials could no longer ignore the question of housing: There simply wasn't enough space in the redlined neighborhoods for the incoming black workers, and moreover, providing housing for defense workers was seen as a patriotic duty. But even with the overwhelming influx of workers, Portland's discriminatory housing policies reigned supreme. Fearing that a permanent housing development would encourage black workers to remain in Oregon after the war, the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) was slow to act. A� article from the Oregonian, with the headline "New Negro Migrants Worry City" said new black workers were "taxing the housing facilities of the Albina District. and confronting authorities with a new housing problem." Later that same year, Portland Mayor Earl Riley asserted that "Portland can absorb only a minimum number of Negros without upsetting the city's regular life." Eventually, the HAP built some 4,900 temporary housing units—for some 120,000 new workers. The new housing still wasn't enough for Kaiser, however, who needed more space for the stream of workers flowing into his shipyards.

Kaiser couldn't wait for the city to provide his workers with housing, so he went around officials to build his own temporary city with the help of the federal government. Completed in just 110 days, the town—comprised of 10,414 apartments and homes—was mostly a slipshod combination of wooden blocks and fiberboard walls. Built on marshland between the Columbia Slough and the Columbia River, Vanport was physically segregated from Portland—and kept dry only by a system of dikes that held back the flow of the Columbia River. "The psychological effect of living on the bottom of a relatively small area, diked on all sides to a height of 15 to 25 feet, was vaguely disturbing," wrote Manly Maben in his 1987 book Vanport. "It was almost impossible to get a view of the horizon from anywhere in Vanport, at least on the ground or in the lower level apartments, and it was even difficult from upper levels."


The Fall of Singapore

The fall of Singapore to the Japanese Army on February 15th 1942 is considered one of the greatest defeats in the history of the British Army and probably Britain’s worst defeat in World War Two. The fall of Singapore in 1942 clearly illustrated the way Japan was to fight in the Far East – a combination of speed and savagery that only ended with the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945.

Singapore, an island at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, was considered a vital part of the British Empire and supposedly impregnable as a fortress. The British saw it as the “Gibraltar in the Far East”.

The surrender of Singapore demonstrated to the world that the Japanese Army was a force to be reckoned with though the defeat also ushered in three years of appalling treatment for the Commonwealth POW’s who were caught in Singapore.

Improvements to Singapore as a British military base had only been completed at great cost in 1938. Singapore epitomised what the British Empire was all about – a strategically vital military base that protected Britain’s other Commonwealth possessions in the Far East.

Once the Japanese expanded throughout the region after Pearl Harbour (December 1941), many in Britain felt that Singapore would become an obvious target for the Japanese. However, the British military command in Singapore was confident that the power they could call on there would make any Japanese attack useless. One story told about the attitude of the British Army in Singapore was of a young Army officer complaining that the newly completed defences in Singapore might put off the Japanese from landing there.

“I do hope we are not getting too strong in Malaya because if so the Japanese may never attempt a landing.”

British troops stationed in Singapore were also told that the Japanese troops were poor fighters alright against soldiers in China who were poor fighters themselves, but of little use against the might of the British Army.

The Japanese onslaught through the Malay Peninsula took everybody by surprise. Speed was of the essence for the Japanese, never allowing the British forces time to re-group. This was the first time British forces had come up against a full-scale attack by the Japanese. Any thoughts of the Japanese fighting a conventional form of war were soon shattered. The British had confidently predicted that the Japanese would attack from the sea. This explained why all the defences on Singapore pointed out to sea. It was inconceivable to British military planners that the island could be attacked any other way – least of all, through the jungle and mangrove swamps of the Malay Peninsula. But this was exactly the route the Japanese took.

As the Japanese attacked through the Peninsula, their troops were ordered to take no prisoners as they would slow up the Japanese advance. A pamphlet issued to all Japanese soldiers stated:

“When you encounter the enemy after landing, think of yourself as an avenger coming face to face at last with his father’s murderer. Here is a man whose death will lighten your heart.”

For the British military command in Singapore, war was still fought by the ‘rule book’. Social life was important in Singapore and the Raffles Hotel and Singapore Club were important social centres frequented by officers. An air of complacency had built in regarding how strong Singapore was – especially if it was attacked by the Japanese. When the Japanese did land at Kota Bharu aerodrome, in Malaya, Singapore’s governor, Sir Shenton Thomas is alleged to have said “Well, I suppose you’ll (the army) shove the little men off.”

The attack on Singapore occurred almost at the same time as Pearl Harbour. By December 9th 1941, the RAF had lost nearly all of its front line aeroplanes after the Japanese had attacked RAF fields in Singapore. Any hope of aerial support for the army was destroyed before the actual attack on Singapore had actually begun.

Britain’s naval presence at Singapore was strong. A squadron of warships was stationed there lead by the modern battleship “Prince of Wales” and the battle cruiser “Repulse”.

On December 8th 1941, both put out to sea and headed north up the Malay coast to where the Japanese were landing. On December 10th, both ships were sunk by repeated attacks from Japanese torpedo bombers. The RAF could offer the ships no protection as their planes had already been destroyed by the Japanese. The loss of both ships had a devastating impact on morale in Britain. Sir Winston Churchill wrote in his memoirs:

“I put the telephone down. I was thankful to be alone. In all the war I never received a more direct shock.”

Only the army could stop the Japanese advance on Singapore. The army in the area was led by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival. He had 90,000 men there – British, Indian and Australian troops. The Japanese advanced with 65,000 men lead by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Many of the Japanese troops had fought in the Manchurian/Chinese campaign and were battle-hardened. Many of Percival’s 90,000 men had never seen combat.

At the Battle of Jitra in Malaya (December 11th and 12th 1941), Percival’s men were soundly beaten and from this battle were in full retreat. The Japanese attack was based on speed, ferocity and surprise. To speed their advance on Singapore, the Japanese used bicycles as one means of transport. Captured wounded Allied soldiers were killed where they lay. Those who were not injured but had surrendered were also murdered – some captured Australian troops were doused with petrol and burned to death. Locals who had helped the Allies were tortured before being murdered. The brutality of the Japanese soldiers shocked the British. But the effectiveness of the Japanese was shown when they captured the capital of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, on January 11th 1942.

All the indications were that the Japanese would attack Singapore across the Johor Strait. General Wavell, the British commander in the region, was ordered by Churchill to fight to save Singapore and he was ordered by Churchill not to surrender until there had been “protracted fighting” in an effort to save the city.

On January 31st 1942, the British and Australian forces withdrew across the causeway that separated Singapore from Malaya. It was clear that this would be their final stand. Percival spread his men across a 70 mile line – the entire coastline of the island. This proved a mistake. Percival had overestimated the strength of the Japanese. His tactic spread his men out for too thinly for an attack.

On February 8th, 1942, the Japanese attacked across the Johor Strait. Many Allied soldiers were simply too far away to influence the outcome of the battle. On February 8th, 23,000 Japanese soldiers attacked Singapore. They advanced with speed and ferocity. At the Alexandra Military Hospital, Japanese soldiers murdered the patients they found there. Percival kept many men away from the Japanese attack fearing that more Japanese would attack along the 70 mile coastline. He has been blamed for failing to back up those troops caught up directly with the fighting but it is now generally accepted that this would not have changed the final outcome but it may only have prolonged the fighting.

The Japanese took 100,000 men prisoner in Singapore. Many had just arrived and had not fired a bullet in anger. 9,000 of these men died building the Burma-Thailand railway. The people of Singapore fared worse. Many were of Chinese origin and were slaughtered by the Japanese. After the war, Japan admitted that 5000 had been murdered, but the Chinese population in Singapore put the figure at nearer 50,000. With the evidence of what the Japanese could do to a captured civilian population (as seen at Nanking), 5000 is likely to be an underestimate.

The fall of Singapore was a humiliation for the British government. The Japanese had been portrayed as useless soldiers only capable of fighting the militarily inferior Chinese. This assessment clearly rested uncomfortably with how the British Army had done in the peninsula.


Canada history Feb 21 1941: tragedy strikes a medical legend

The name of Dr Frederick Banting of Toronto is legendary in medical circles and to untold numbers of people owe their lives to his discovery of insulin.

He announced the discovery in February 1922, and the world proclaimed it as the world’s first “miracle” drug (hormone) and treatment for diabetes.

Knighted in 1934, for his discovery Sir Frederick Banting continued research into silicosis and cancer and was later appointed chairman of the National Research Council’s Committee on Aviation Medical Research in 1939.

Major Sir Frederick Banting presumably taken sometime between 1939-1941. © via CBC

When the Second World War broke out, he wanted to do his part in uniform as he had done in the First World War where he had been awarded the Military Cross.

Although allowed to enlist and given the rank of Major, he was in his late 40’s on the one hand and on the other his work in medicine made him far too valuable for any duty in a fighting theatre. Instead he became a liaison between military medical services in Britain and Canada and to would head to England to discuss his research into aviator health in relation to military pilots and the war effort.

He arrived in secret on February 17th, 1941 at the bustling military airbase at Gander Newfoundland where very special arrangements had been made to get him aboard a plane to England.

On February 20 th, 1941 he joined a pilot, navigator and radio operator aboard a twin-engine Lockheed Hudson bomber being ferried to Britain.

Shortly after takeoff in the late evening and heading out over the ocean on the first leg of the trip, one of the engines cut out. The pilot, Capt Mackey turned and began heading back to the airport at Gander, but possibly the other engine also began sputtering or cut out completely or simply couldn’t hold the plane in the air. Mackey told the crew to put on their parachutes and jump, but in the blackness of the night and possibly not knowing where they were or what they would land on, they all stayed.

Folks in the hamlet of Musgrave Harbour heard the plane in difficulty as it flew rather low overhead in the darkness of the snowy night but were not sure what happened to it as it flew into the distance out of sight and hearing.

Another view of the crashed Lockheed, date unknown as it appears the engines have been removed.

The doomed aircraft crashed only a few moments later though in the night in a remote part of the island about 16 kilometres from the town separated by rough brush and forest,

The navigator and radio operator were killed in the crash, and Banting seriously injured with a severe blow to the head and internal injuries. The pilot survived and left to get help but gave up faced the weather and wilderness. Returning to the plane he waited for search planes to find them..

By the 1970’s weather and souvenir hunters resulted in very little left of the original plane © DG Tulk-gander airport historical society

The crash site of Hudson T-9449 was spotted on the 24 th , but it was too late. Banting had died during the day after the crash, February 21, 1941, of his injuries and exposure.

The news of the tragic death of the famous doctor, Nobel prize winner, and the man who had saved the lives of so many, came as a shock to the world.

A small memorial park has been set up in Musgrave Harbour where the few remnants of original wreckage lie, while a restored Hudson has been placed nearby.

A restored Lockheed Hudson bomber at Banting memorial Park in Musgrave harbour. Remants of the original wreckage are nearby. © Torbenbrinker-wikimedia


The Soviet advance to the Oder, January–February 1945

At the end of 1944 the Germans still held the western half of Poland, and their front was still 200 miles east of where it had been at the start of the war in 1939. The Germans had checked the Soviets’ summer offensive and had established a firm line along the Narew and Vistula rivers southward to the Carpathians, and in October they repelled the Red Army’s attempted thrust into East Prussia. Meanwhile, however, the Soviet left, moving up from the eastern Balkans, had been gradually pushing around through Hungary and Yugoslavia in a vast flanking movement and the absorption of German forces in opposing this side-door approach detracted considerably from the Germans’ capacity to maintain their main Eastern and Western fronts.

The Soviet high command was now ready to exploit the fundamental weaknesses of the German situation. Abundant supplies for their armies had been accumulated at the railheads. The mounting stream of American-supplied trucks had by this time enabled the Soviets to motorize a much larger proportion of their infantry brigades and thus, with the increasing production of their own tanks, to multiply the number of armoured and mobile corps for a successful breakthrough.

Before the end of December ominous reports were received by Guderian—who, in this desperately late period of the war, had been made chief of the German general staff. German Army intelligence reported that 225 Soviet infantry divisions and 22 armoured corps had been identified on the front between the Baltic and the Carpathians, assembled to attack. But when Guderian presented the report of these massive Soviet offensive preparations, Hitler refused to believe it, exclaiming: “It’s the biggest imposture since Genghis Khan! Who is responsible for producing all this rubbish?”

If Hitler had been willing to stop the Ardennes counteroffensive in the west, troops could have been transferred to the Eastern Front but he refused to do so. At the same time he refused Guderian’s renewed request that the 30 German divisions now isolated in Courland (on the Baltic seacoast in Lithuania) should be evacuated by sea and brought back to reinforce the gateways into Germany. As a consequence, Guderian was left with a mobile reserve of only 12 armoured divisions to back up the 50 weak infantry divisions stretched out over the 700 miles of the main front.

The Soviet offensive opened on January 12, 1945, when Konev’s armies were launched against the German front in southern Poland, starting from their bridgehead over the Vistula River near Sandomierz. After it had pierced the German defense and produced a flanking menace to the central sector, Zhukov’s armies in the centre of the front bounded forward from their bridgeheads nearer Warsaw. That same day, January 14, Rokossovsky’s armies also joined in the offensive, striking from the Narew River north of Warsaw and breaking through the defenses covering this flank approach to East Prussia. The breach in the German front was now 200 miles wide.

On January 17, 1945, Warsaw was captured by Zhukov, after it had been surrounded and on January 19 his armoured spearheads drove into Łódź. That same day Konev’s spearheads reached the Silesian frontier of prewar Germany. Thus, at the end of the first week the offensive had been carried 100 miles deep and was 400 miles wide—far too wide to be filled by such scanty reinforcements as were belatedly provided.

The crisis made Hitler renounce any idea of pursuing his offensive in the west but, despite Guderian’s advice, he switched the 6th Panzer Army not to Poland but to Hungary in an attempt to relieve Budapest. The Soviets could thus continue their advance through Poland for two more weeks. While Konev’s spearheads crossed the Oder River in the vicinity of Breslau (Wrocław) and thus cut Silesia’s important mineral resources off from Germany, Zhukov made a sweeping advance in the centre by driving forward from Warsaw, past Poznań, Bydgoszcz, and Toruń, to the frontiers of Brandenburg and of Pomerania. At the same time Rokossovsky pushed on, through Allenstein (Olsztyn), to the Gulf of Danzig, thus cutting off the 25 German divisions in East Prussia. To defend the yawning gap in the centre of the front, Hitler created a new army group and put Heinrich Himmler in command of it with a staff of favoured SS officers. Their fumbling helped to clear the path for Zhukov, whose mechanized forces by January 31, 1945, were at Küstrin, on the lower Oder, only 40 miles from Berlin.

Zhukov’s advance now came to a halt. Konev, however, could still make a northwesterly sweep down the left bank of the middle Oder, reaching Sommerfeld, 80 miles from Berlin, on February 13, and the Neisse River two days later. The Germans’ defense benefited from being driven back to the straight and shortened line formed by the Oder and Neisse rivers. This front, extending from the Baltic coast to the Bohemian frontier, was less than 200 miles long. The menace of the Soviets’ imminent approach to Berlin led Hitler to decide that most of his fresh drafts of troops must be sent to reinforce the Oder the way was thus eased for the crossing of the Rhine River by the American and British armies.

On February 13, 1945, the Soviets took Budapest, the defense of which had entailed the Germans’ loss of Silesia.


USS Enterprise CV-6 The Most Decorated Ship of the Second World War

For Enterprise, 1942 began much as 1941 had ended, as she patrolled the western approaches to the Hawaiian islands and periodically returned to Pearl Harbor for supplies, frustrating both brown shoes and bluejackets alike.

By the close of 1942, however, Enterprise was battered and barely seaworthy, her men exhausted and their nerves raw. What they had accomplished, though, was nothing short of remarkable.

After a series of raids during the spring, Enterprise, Yorktown CV-5 and Hornet CV-8 brought Yamamoto's "year to run wild" to an abrupt halt off Midway Island. During the late summer, Enterprise covered the Allied landings on Guadalcanal, then guarded reinforcement efforts. Heavily engaged and damaged in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons in August, and the Battle of Santa Cruz in October, she was ordered once more in November to block yet another major Japanese effort to retake Guadalcanal. The result, known now as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-15 November 1942, was the decisive action in the long struggle for the jungle island. In five days of heavy combat, the Japanese landing forces were virtually destroyed, and their supporting battle groups, damaged or destroyed, were pushed away from the island, signaling the end of Japan's southern expansion.

In this first year of war, Enterprise and the other ships of the Pacific Fleet faced nearly overwhelming odds regularly. At Midway, Enterprise and her sister ships Hornet - which had never directly engaged the enemy before - and Yorktown - hastily patched up after being struck by an enemy bomb in the Coral Sea battle - squared off against four battle-hardened Japanese carriers . and won. At Santa Cruz, Hornet and Enterprise - just two carriers now - again engaged four of the enemy's and inflicted such devastating losses on Japan's naval aviators that over a year would pass before Japan's carriers could once again challenge the American fleet.

Over the course of the year, the Big E was struck six times by Japanese bombs, and more than 300 of her men were killed or wounded as a result. Enterprise Air Group and Air Group Ten, flying from Enterprise's deck the first eighteen months of the war, suffered heavy losses as they faced the best of Japan's fighting forces. One by one, the other prewar carriers of the Pacific fleet were lost in battle, or damaged and forced to withdraw for repair. Lexington CV-2 was lost in May, and Yorktown less than a month later. On the last day of August, Saratoga CV-3 absorbed her second torpedo of the year and was forced to retire to Pearl Harbor. Wasp CV-7, struck by three torpedoes on September 16, was not so lucky.

Finally, on the morning of October 26, as Hornet burned just over the horizon, Enterprise became the last operational US carrier in the Pacific. A bold sign appeared in the hangar deck - "Enterprise vs. Japan" - reflecting both the desperate nature of the situation, and the resolve of Enterprise's men. Not until December 5, when the repaired Saratoga arrived at Noumea, would the men in Enterprise see another friendly flattop.

After December 1942, however, Enterprise never fought alone again. Japan's navy, though still formidable, had been greatly weakened by the battles of 1942, battles in which the Big E had often played a pivotal role. And Japan's naval air arm, decimated at Midway, the Eastern Solomons, and Santa Cruz, would never make good its losses. By the end of 1942, Japan had been fought to a stand-still.


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The companies are working to develop jet engines that could burn one-quarter less fuel, as well as technology that could use fuels such as hydrogen.

GE Aviation and Safran Launch Advanced Technology Demonstration Program for Sustainable Engines Extend CFM Partnership to 2050

PARIS, Jun 14, 2021--GE Aviation and Safran today launched a bold technology development program targeting more than 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today’s engines. The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s.

UPDATE 3-GE, Safran venture to develop radical new jet engine

General Electric and France's Safran has unveiled plans to test-build an open-bladed jet engine able to reduce fuel use and emissions by 20% as they prolonged their historic CFM International joint venture by a decade to 2050. The "RISE" engine, positioned as a possible successor to the "LEAP" model used on the Boeing 737 MAX and some Airbus A320neo, will feature a design with visible fan blades known as open-rotor and could enter service by the mid-2030s. The system will contain hybrid-electric propulsion and be capable of running on 100% sustainable fuel or hydrogen, an energy source favoured by Airbus for future concepts.

GE, Safran venture to develop radical new jet engine

PARIS (Reuters) -General Electric and France's Safran has unveiled plans to test-build an open-bladed jet engine able to reduce fuel use and emissions by 20% as they prolonged their historic CFM International joint venture by a decade to 2050. The "RISE" engine, positioned as a possible successor to the "LEAP" model used on the Boeing 737 MAX and some Airbus A320neo, will feature a design with visible fan blades known as open-rotor and could enter service by the mid-2030s. The system will contain hybrid-electric propulsion and be capable of running on 100% sustainable fuel or hydrogen, an energy source favoured by Airbus for future concepts.

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Caterpillar and General Electric

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General Electric Teams With Safran to Make Greener Aviation Engines

GE wants to see a 20% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared with today's most efficient jet engines.

GE and Safran explore plans for lower emissions jet engine

Two of the world’s largest aero-engine makers have unveiled plans for a new generation of jet engines that promise to cut fuel consumption by 20 per cent as early as the middle of the next decade. General Electric and Safran said they would extend their engine joint venture, CFM International, by another 10 years to 2050 as part of the commitment. CFM is the world’s largest jet engine maker in terms of the number of units sold.


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